Opinion: Eight simple actions that individuals can take to save insects from global declines
To help individuals broaden participation in the conservation of insects and to promote the adoption of behaviors and habits expected to mitigate insect declines, Kawahara et al. propose eight simple actions, most with immediate impact, that many people can undertake on their own, regardless of background, occupation, or geographic location.
Genomic Analyses of Phenotypic Differences Between Native and Invasive Populations of Diffuse Knapweed (Centaurea diffusa)
Turner et al. have assembled the first draft genome reference and fully annotated plastome assembly for Centaurea diffusa, and one of the first from this large, weedy, genus, which is of major ecological and economic importance.
Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution
Single-cell RNA sequencing of developing maize ears facilitates functional analysis and trait candidate gene discovery
Xu et al. investigated the transcriptional profiles of 12,525 single cells from developing maize ears. The resulting developmental atlas provides a single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) map of an inflorescence.
Quantitative dissection of color patterning in the foliar ornamental Coleus reveals underlying features driving aesthetic value
Using a new phenotyping approach called “ColourQuant,” Li et al. extract and analyze pigmentation patterns from one of the largest coleus breeding populations in the world. Working with this massive dataset, they are able to analyze quantitative relationships between maternal plants and their progeny, identify features that underlie breeder-selections, and collect and compare consumer input on trait preferences.
Coordination between microbiota and root endodermis supports plant mineral nutrient homeostasis
The root provides mineral nutrients and water to the plant. Diffusion barriers seal the root, preventing the loss of internal water and nutrients. Salas-González et al. found that microbes living on and in roots of the model plant Arabidopsis thaliana influence diffusion. barrier formation, which affects the balance of mineral nutrients in the plant
Unexplored dimensions of variability in vegetative desiccation tolerance
Marks et al. discuss the natural variation in desiccation tolerance and argue that leveraging this diversity can improve our mechanistic understanding of desiccation tolerance. They summarize information collected from ~600 desiccation‐tolerant land plants and discuss the taxonomic distribution and physiology of desiccation responses.
American Journal of Botany
Plant roots sense soil compaction through restricted ethylene diffusion
It's tough to drive a spade through compacted soil, and plant roots seem to have the same problem when growing in compacted ground. Pandey et al. found that the problem is not, however, one of physical resistance but rather inhibition of growth through a signaling pathway.
Crop cover is more important than rotational diversity for soil multifunctionality and cereal yields in European cropping systems
Garland et al. assessed the impact of crop diversification on soil microbial diversity, soil multifunctionality (SMF) and crop yields in 155 cereal fields across a 3,000 km north–south European gradient. Overall, crop diversity showed a relatively minor effect on soil microbial diversity, SMF and yields. In contrast, the proportion of time with crop cover (including cash crops, cover crops or forage leys) during the past ten-year crop rotation had a much stronger impact.
Tree death and damage: a standardized protocol for frequent surveys in tropical forests
Arellano et al. present a field protocol to assess tree mortality in tropical forests. The protocol focuses on the rapid, repeatable and inexpensive assessment of individual tree death and damage. The protocol has been successfully tested with annual assessments of >62,000 stems in total in several ForestGEO plots in Asia and the Neotropics.
Journal of Vegetation